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U.s. 5, England 4, Louisiana 3, New York 3, Veronica De La 2, Afghanistan 2, Fred Roggin 2, Nbc 2, Phillip 2, Aaron Rodgers 2, Greenspring 2, Mississippi 2, Florida 2, Boston 2, Kobe 2, North Carolina 2, Dallas 2, Washington 2, Obama 1, Joe Biden 1,
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  ABC    ABC2 News    News  News/Business. New. (CC)  

    December 26, 2011
    4:30 - 5:00am EST  

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this morning on "early today," ready, set return. the nation's retailers are ready for the final round of holiday shopping madness. on the mepd, england's prince phillip is said to be in good spirits after undergoing heart surgery. and open wide, an 8-month-old baby gets up close and perhaps a little too personal with the commander in and perhaps a little too personal with the commander in chief. captions paid for by nbc-universal television hello and good morning. i'm veronica de la cruz. today we begin with many happy returns. christmas is officially over, but for many americans, there is
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one more tradition to observe. millions of shoppers will head out today to return unwanted gifts. and if retailers get their wish, they'll spend more money on post christmas sales. brian, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, veronica. everybody out there in tv land, did you get what you wanted for christmas? >> santa. >> reporter: after speeding around the globe to deliver all his gifts on time -- ♪ jingle bells jingle all the way ♪ >> santa and friends spent time surfing in cocoa beach, florida. foul weather left u.p.s. scrambling to get tens of thousands of packages delivered on time. speaking of scrambling, it's now crunch time for the republican presidential candidates. just eight days left before iowa. president obama and the first family are chilling in sunny hawaii. this is, of course, the season of giving. and many spent their christmas
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day doing just that. 1800 meals served at a church in north carolina. 2,000 in atlanta. in florida, volunteers delivered boxes of groceries to their needy neighbors. now that christmas is over, it's time for serious shoppers to spring back into action. >> on after, the week after krimz christmas accounts for up to 10% of holiday season sales. it's a very important week to close out the season. >> reporter: it may not be this out of control if you're plannin to hit the malls today, but if you're hitting the malls, you know you're going to pay a price. the national retail federation estimates 8 in 10 consumers bought gift cards this season. but what about returns? i have a feeling a lot of people are going to be doing that today. veronica. >> brian mooar in washington, thank you. >> thank you. an explosion at a catholic
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church near the nigerian capital claimed the lives of at least 20 people who had just finished oep observing christmas mass. in what apartments to be a coordinated assault, a bomb exploded amid gunfire and a suicide bomber attacked the military in the nation's northeast. a muslim sect responsible for holiday bombings that killed 90 people last year has reportedly claimed responsibility for yesterday's attacks. a suicide bomber killed six people in baghdad. sunday, vice president joe biden talked with by phone with prime minister al malaki. their conversation comes amid fears of a sectarian split after the shiite coalition issued an arrest warrant for another leader. it is a sign of the strained relationship between the u.s.
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and pakistan in the month following the raid that killed osama bin laden. the new york ciin new york timee could be limits on u.s. drone strikes along with the number of u.s. spies and soldiers on the ground. tensions were heightened last month after an american air strike killed 26 pakistani soldiers near the afghan border. despite that, u.s. officials ensure the relationship will endure. now here's a look at other stories making news early today in america. hundreds lined the banks of the delaware river for the 59 angel reenactment of george washington's crossing of the river. the surprise event turned down a band of british mercenaries turning the tide of the revolutionary war. although he had a very busy schedule over the weekend, st. nick managed to pull off some exciting stunts on the potomac river. for a 26th year, acrobatic
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performers braved the cold to put on a water skiing show for spectators. and there were some extremely cute stocking stuffers on display in missouri. for their first christmas, hospital staff members dressed each newborn in a santa hat and placed them inside their own stocking where they slept like -- well, babies. slept like babies. finally, in hawaii, an 8-month-old boy had an adorable response for president obama after he told the president it was too quiet. the infant put his hands in the president's mouth after being picked up to take a photo. as you can see right there, the president played along merrily. now for a look at your national and regional weather, here is nbc meteorologist bill karins with the weather channel forecast. merry christmas to you, bill. >> merry christmas. >> how was it? >> i think the president had a little practice. you can tell he's a dad, a fake
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gnawing on the hands. >> either that or a lot of puppies and dogs in his life. >> exactly. i hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. as we go through this week, it is going to be interesting. we've got a couple storms to deal with and maybe a little bit of snow for the first time for a few people. you still notice, though, this december has been lacking in cold air. really, the old cold air out there is in the rockies, back through areas of utah and wyoming. we're very mild in the eastern sea where it's starting the morning in the 40s up through central new england. we're very mild at least for now. there's a storm brewing down here. it's been a very wet weekend, unfortunately. areas like louisiana and eastern texas, we've had snow this weekend, actually. lubbock up towards amarillo and north texas, this storm will be the one that's going move up the eastern seaboard, mostly as a big rain event starting today through tomorrow into wednesday morning. the backside of that, though, could have a little bit of snow. so as far as the radar goes this morning, rain still falling in areas of louisiana. now it's getting heavier in
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areas of mississippi. as the storm tracks pretty much an inland track up through central new england, the back side of the storm should have a little bit of snow. we're talking ohio possibly western new york. you could end up with white stuff tomorrow into tomorrow night. for today, we're pretty good in the east coast, just a lot of rain in the deep south. that's a look at your national forecast. now here is a look at the weather outside your window. rally, north carolina, beautiful day today. in the mid 50s with a lot of sunshine. boston, mid 40s is pretty nice. it will be windy this morning before we get some sunshine this afternoon. still warm in areas like minneapolis. no real big cold shots of cold air coming, but maybe some snow for a few people tomorrow. >> we didn't get a white christmas. >> a lot of people didn't. just ahead, how holiday service members spent holidays overseas.
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plus, it's mission accomplished for tom cruise. coming up, aaron rodgers spreads christmas cheer throughout green bay. you're watching "early today."
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good morning, and welcome back to "early today." i'm veronica de la cruz. here are some of your top headlines this morning. police in texas are investigating the shooting of a gathering in ft. worth. authorities believe four women, three men, age 18 to 60 are related and that the shooter is among the dead. in stanford, connecticut, a fire killed three members of a family including two chirp. two people were able to make it out of the burning victorian home. it took dozens of firefighters to get the fire under control. a south korean polling ship has been reached a vessel that's been stuck in the frigid waters
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that's been stuck near antarctica that's been stuck for three days. in england, prince phillip remains hospitalized after having surgery for a blocked artery. he had said to be in good spirits. well, the u.s. military has now left iraq. tens of thousand oefs american service members remain in afghanistan for the 10th christmas in a row. nbc shows us how the holiday was able to make its presence known to them so far from home. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: major tunisha starts out christmas as she does every day, reaching back to her family in virginia. a mother and a wife, she knows the pain of being far away this time of year. it's her job to make things better for some 1600 troops. as a morale officer, her battle
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is to help them fight depression and alleviate stress. >> we are here to do a job, but in order to do it effectively and productively, you have to have a peace of mind. >> she reminds troops that folks back home care, handing out goodies sent by grateful americans. and she sets up events like this jingle bell race. but no fun and games at the post office. they're busy handing and sorting out christmas cheer and the mail that arrived at camp eggars this month alone. >> the packages that we get mean so very much. >> a big smile. >> we make it easy on each other. >> he shares his care packages with his band of brothers following that time honored tradition, the gift of giving. >> there are some festist moments, but all over afghanistan, troops are carrying on as usual today, serving their country and fighting a war.
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this quick response team is heading out on a mission, responding to enemy activity. it's business as usually for colonel mark mcb gineral, 27 years in the army and it's still hard to be away. >> i get a couple meetings to go through and then phone call to my wife. >> reporter: a christmas service to just take time to reflect. their thoughts and prayers are with family, front line troops and fallen comrades. ♪ peace on earth the words of this carol have a special meaning here as they ask for peace on earth. nbc news. up next, the celtics and the nba opener. plus, the heat spoil the mavericks banner celebration with a big win.
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your forecast is coming up. you're watching "early today."
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good morning. if you're just waking up, this is "early today." in sports, after a long and frustrating lockout, the nba finally had its season opener on sunday. here's nbc's fred roggin with an early look at all your sports headlines. good morning. it was the christmas gift that
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every nba fan on their list, the start of a new season. here we go to dallas. mavs celebrated their first nba title by raising the championship banner. lebron james and the heat crashed the party. the favorites to win it all this year started the season with a bang, jumped out to a 15-point lead in the fist quarter and kept it going. at one point, they were up by 35. o'brien led the we by 35. mavs won it, 105-94. kobe bryant played in his 14th day christmas game. like so many before, up one, 20 seconds to play. chicago needed a bucket and the mvp delivered. derrick rose hit the floater. kobe was formed by three defenders and blocked at the buzzer. bulls rallied from six points down in the final minute to win it 88-87. spike lee and chris rock enjoyed christmas together at madison square garden.
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17 of his game high in the final frame. kevin garnett had a look at the opening buzzer. new york held on to win it, 106-104. to oklahoma city where i see mama kissing kevin durant, no mistle toe needed between mama and son. the thunder rolled 97-89. finally, what's a sunday without some football? packers and bears, aaron rodgers spreading christmas cheer all over the field. threw 5 touchdowns. hand him the mvp award right now. packers xwroofd with a 35-21 win. that's your early look at sports on "early today." i'm fred roggin. three new films suffer from silent nights at the box office. your early morning entertainment headlines are straight ahead. plus, the story of college friends, baked goods and a holiday tradition that spanned more than a quarter century. you're watching "early today."
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a good monday morning to you. hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family and friends. weatherwise, it was going to be rain continuing in areas of louisiana, mississippi, east texas, even dallas could have some showers. this heavy rain event is going to be on the move. starting today into tomorrow. it's a pretty nice day today. areas of the great lakes, northern plains, not a lot of cold anterior around once again.
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our storm system heads for the east coast as we go throughout tuesday. tuesday night, the heavy rain will work its way up into new england. back side, a little snow possible. western new york, western pennsylvania, maybe even ohio, too, could have some snow tomorrow and tomorrow night. if you're watching us on whdh 7 news in boston, mass, the three stooges film festival at the orkin theater. that's your "early today" event of the day. >> are you a fan of the stooges? >> i used to love the stooges. >> me, too. now here's a look at this morning's headlines in entertainment. mission impossible goes protocol easily sailed into the number one spot in the box office with an estimated $25 million in its first weekend in full release. still swb that is about half of what cruise's other mission impossible films opened with mainly due to the timing of its release. last week's sherlock holmes
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dropped to second. alvin and the chipmunks chipwrecked dropped to third. this weekend's three newcomers failed to light any fires at the box office. "the girl with the dragon tattoo" debuted in fourth place with only $13 million. "the adventures of tin tin" came in fifth with $9d million. finally, we bought a zoo placed sixth with a dismaldz 7.8 million. you're laughing. is that something you went to go see smp. >> no. on friday we were discussing how that movie was not going to do well and who would go see a movie with that title. >> are you surprised about the girl with the dragon tattoo? i'm surprised. >> it had a lot of buzz, a good book. i guess it didn't have mass appeal. >> that either or people are too busy with their holiday
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shopping. this comes to you from denver, colorado, where one group of friends are using a infamous holiday tree to hold on to some special memories. for the past 26 years, three college buddies have shared, get this, the same fruit cake. they've preserved it, short of, by keeping the original wrapping intact. while they haven't taken a bite out of the holiday dessert, they have shared memorabilia each time they ship it providing a fun way to stay in touch. >> they should just bury it. >> i know. >> it would be like a time capsule. i'm veronica de la cruz, and this is "early today," just your first stop of the day today on your nbc station.
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>> live, local, late-breaking, this is wbal-tv 11 news today. >> good morning. it is the day after christmas. we do have some clouds out there. will cool front went by last night. -- there was a cool front that went by last night. we have a bit of a breeze. 45 degrees at b.w.i. marshall. look at those winds. the barometer is up. 46 downtown at the inner harbor. we will see clouds and sunshine.
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we have something else in the forecast. details in just a minute. >> 43 degrees on tv hill. five teenagers are accused of attacking people with a painful gun. >> many happy returns. the season of giving turns into the season of giving things back to the stores. that story is coming up. >> someone in maryland is a new millionaire for christmas. >> we're checking on your morning commute. a live picture at greenspring. a live picture at greenspring.
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i miss that guy with all my heart. we shared classes together, we survived the lectures, and we took the tests and we told the jokes. but now i must look at the empty desk with an empty heart, unable to rest. while all the other kids laugh and play, i'll only remember that one day, when my best friend jeff was taken away. i love you, jeff. [captioning made possible by constellation energy group] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> live, local, late-breaking, this is wbal-tv 11 news today. >> good morning. i am sarah caldwell. >> i am